(This page may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
The first British NHS doctor to join ISIS in Syria has been revealed thanks to leaked ISIS recruitment papers. Issam Abuanza, 37, allegedly left his wife and two children behind in Sheffield when he fled the UK in 2014. He had been a practising doctor with the NHS for seven years, after he received his licence to practise medicine in the UK in 2009, according to a BBC investigation.
Shocking images posted on social media appear to show Abuanza wearing an army uniform and clutching an AK-47 while reading the Koran.
Another photograph shows him wearing doctors’ scrubs with a gun in a holster slung over one shoulder.
The father-of-two turned ISIS fighter has reportedly been condemned by his own sister after the truth about his ‘path to terror’ emerged.
‘He used to be quite the dashing young man, very modern. I’ve no idea how he became like this or who showed him the path to terror,’ his sister Najla told the BBC. ‘They will never forgive him. My dad’s wish was to see him before he dies. He has spent all his money on him and his education and this is what he does.’
A Palestinian doctor with British citizenship, Abuanza is said to have filled in ISIS registration forms when he crossed into Syria to join them on July 26 2014.
According to the forms, as seen by the BBC, he said he was a doctor specialising in endocrinology – which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to hormones.
On his form to enter the terror group, he was reportedly asked if he wanted to be a commando, a suicide bomber or a soldier, to which he answered ‘a soldier’.
Up until October 2015, when he stopped posting, Abuanza was very active on social media, frequently writing messages in support of ISIS and attempting to recruit other British medics.